Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 06/25/17
Japanese eggplants are long and slender with an oblong shape. Its glossy skin has a purple-black hue and is thin enough that it does not require peeling prior to use. Japanese eggplants are known to maintain their skin color even when cooked, a quality which makes them unique among many other eggplant varieties. Their interior cream colored flesh is spongy and nearly seedless. Japanese eggplant's flavor is mild and because it is nearly seedless it doesn't possess that bitter quality found in many Western and Thai varieties.
Japanese eggplant is available year-round.
A member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae Japanese eggplants have a shared ancestry with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Japanese eggplant is classified botanically as Solanum melongena and is the Western name given to dozens of eggplant varieties, both heirloom and hybrid. The most common varieties on the market today are Millionaire and Orient Express.
Eggplant skin contains 'nasunin,' a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger that protects cell membranes of the brain from damage. Eggplants also contain vitamin C, potassium, folate and dietary fiber, particularly in the eggplants skin. Since eggplant slices easily absorb whatever liquid they are cooked in care should be taken when cooking them in oils, butter, cream or soy sauce as the nutritional profile of the eggplant can quickly change from healthy to one high in fat and sodium.
When a thin-skinned eggplant is desired, Japanese eggplant is the ideal variety. The eggplant's sponge-like texture qualities allow it to easily take on flavorings such as miso, soy sauce and ginger. Japanese eggplants are amenable to a variety of cooking methods including sautéing, pan-frying, deep frying, grilling, pickling, and especially baking. For ideal texture and flavor be sure to choose eggplants with a firm, smooth, unblemished skin devoid of any soft spots. When cooked its texture makes for an excellent meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan preparations. Japanese eggplant has a short post-vine shelf life, thus it should ideally be kept in a cool dry area and used within a few days of harvest.
In Japan eggplants have long been an important part of the food culture, a famous proverb that speaks of this high esteem reads, “the happiest omen for a New Year is first Mount Fuji, then the falcon, and lastly eggplant”.
Unlike other members of the Solanaceae family, which are native to the New World, eggplant varieties are native to the Old World. The first known written record of eggplant is found in Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural manual completed in 544. Chinese eggplant varieties were cultivated in Japan during the same era. The Japanese would successively plant newer varieties for centuries, accumulating hundreds of different subspecies. In modern Japan, eggplant is the third most important vegetable for culinary use.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Japanese Eggplant. One is easiest, three is harder.
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